Democratic Senators Speak Out on Tracy Thorne-Begland Judicial Nomination

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    Today, Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) and Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexadria) spoke out against GOP lawmakers in Richmond, who voted against appointing Tracy Thorne-Begland to the Richmond District Court simply because he was gay.

    “Tracy Thorne-Begland is a highly qualified and exceptionally competent prosecutor, who also served our country with honor as a Navy pilot. The blatant prejudice that Republicans displayed last night should have no place in our government. The GOP took Virginia back to the bigotry and mean-spirited prejudice of the 1960s. I thought we had made more progress toward a just society than this,” said Senator McEachin.

    “The debate in the House of Delegates was homophobic and embarrassing, and showed a disrespect to a chief deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and decorated veteran who was honorably discharged,” said Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Virginia’s first openly gay senator. “It’s also offensive that the Senate Republican leadership  wouldn’t even grant Lt. Thorne-Begland the courtesy of a Senate vote.”

    “The only criteria legislators should apply when selecting judges are that person’s ability to fairly and impartially weigh the law. Mr. Thorne-Begland’s qualifications for appointment to the bench were unimpeachable, but Republicans cynically voted against his appointment just because he was gay,” said Senator McEachin.

    “Why don’t House Republicans trust a Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney to uphold the Constitution? Are they afraid of a tough on crime prosecutor? They question a distinguished former Naval Lieutenant who told the truth? They say that a Navy Achievement Medal awarded by the Secretary of the Navy isn’t meaningful?

    Their opposition to Tracy Thorne-Begland’s nomination was for one reason and one reason alone. Because he is openly gay,” added Senator Ebbin.